words and photos by Bebe Labree Besch
After hosting a sold out show at the Neptune Theater the prior Friday, Local Natives took to the same stage once more this past Monday for another sold out performance. The five Californians wasted no time blazing through plenty of songs off of their sophomore album, Hummingbird, released earlier this year. The new songs are a compliment to Local Native’s prominent stage presence; specifically in guitarist/vocalist Taylor Rice, who helped deliver the tame spaces of the Hummingbird’s sound equally as vibrant as the rest of the album in person. When not singing, Rice could be found thrashing and utilizing his half of the stage by vigorously pacing with guitar in hand.
That’s not to say that the rest of the band remained still. All members were adhered to a microphone for each of their many harmonies. Keyboardist and shared lead vocalist Kelcey Ayer took time to also play drums (in addition to their set drummer Matt Frazier at stage back) alongside his keys, and repositioned himself later on to the right of his initial set up as he swapped instruments – this time taking a guitar while singing the incredibly emotional song “Columbia,” also found on Hummingbird. He wasn’t the only band member to swap positions. By the end of the night, Ryan Hahn, Taylor Rice and Kelcey Ayer (Local Natives’ founding members) had swapped and taken each of their original three spaces at some point in the night – while playing the alternate instruments at those positions.
Local Native’s physical movement on stage eased their progress through their set list, which included some old favorites of the mostly pre-teen crowd including “Camera Talk” and “Airplanes.” The crowd particularly showed their appreciation during Local Native’s final and encore song of the night, “Sun Hands.” With them, Local Natives brought Superhumanoids back onto the stage for the finale. Though the lighting for the first half of the song was completely dark, audience members already had their hands raised anticipating the climax of the song. Once it hit, the house lights went up as well as everyone else’s hands to the air. Though Local Natives may not be from the Pacific Northwest, Seattle reciprocated their performance with intense appreciation.
View more photos here.